Now that many of us are returning to the office, it’s time to reflect on the past fifteen months. What has the “break” been like for you and your team?
It’s likely there were periods when time didn’t seem to move at all—when you experienced your own personal Groundhog Day, trapped in a repetitive loop. Yet other times, as a client uttered yesterday, “I blinked and three weeks passed.” Time flew, and it stood still. Some days you may have felt that nothing was in your control — and other times you sensed more control and trust than ever before.
We describe these seemingly opposite positions as polarities. A polarity is often framed as an either/or situation, but it is not a problem to solve. Rather, it is a reality to manage. Both are true. Customers expect high quality and low cost. Children need both unconditional love and boundaries. When we embrace multiple perspectives to manage polarities, we replace either/or with both/and thinking. This both/and dichotomy is worth pondering, especially from a learning perspective.
Some additional questions to consider:
❓ What other polarities did you experience during the pandemic?
❓ What were the positive unintended consequences you experienced?
❓ What unexpected gifts came from the losses generated in the last year?
❓ What did you intend to do that you never got around to doing? How might you make your intentions a reality — whether it was learning Chinese, cleaning out the garage, or…?
❓ What did you learn about the resilience of your team? How might you and your team continue to benefit from that learning?
❓ Maybe your old beliefs about teleworking were hijacked. What’s the right balance of team members returning to the office and working virtually?
❓ Corporate values may have shown up very differently during the pandemic. How could they be re-defined to represent your true north?
❓ What facets of your organizational culture helped employees navigate remote work — and which failed to support the realities of the pandemic? How might you apply these learnings to re-invent your systems and practices?
❓ What do you need to change to sustain positive behaviors that surfaced while working virtually?
❓ How might you share your pandemic learnings and invite others to do the same?
Questions breed questions, and exploration garners insight and growth. Be sure to unearth what can be learned from past mistakes, too.
If this post whetted your appetite, we encourage you to take a deeper learning dive. Pause, reflect and discover the playful, practical insights found in Ignite Your Imagination: 21 Ways to Learn. We believe that learning returns one of the highest yields of our time and energy investment. Accept that time will fly — and capitalize on the reality that you’re the pilot.
For additional information, contact:
Becky Ripley, M.S.
Sustainable Legacies℠ and Excursion Learning℠ Practice Leader